Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall
Contact: Ben Culling - 01522 873387
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 February 2020 be confirmed subject to the following amendments:
30. Confirmation of Minutes – 5th November 2019
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2019 be confirmed.
Declarations of Interest
Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.
No declarations of interest were received.
Scrutiny Review into Integrated Communities
To receive evidence from the following as part of the Scrutiny Review:
Wes Shelbourne - Just Lincolnshire
Wes Shelbourne sent his apologies.
Simon Hoare - Acts Trust
Simon Hoare, Chief Executive of Acts Trust, was invited to address the Committee as part of evidence gathering for the Scrutiny Review into Integrated Communities. The following points were noted as part of his presentation:
· Acts Trust were an independent charity which were part of Alive Church in Lincoln.
· The work of Energise, a project which helped support children between 8 and 18 years old improve their life choices, reduce Anti-Social Behaviour and raise their aspirations for the future had been very successful.
· ESOL, an ongoing project which focused on people where English wasn’t their first language at beginner, intermediate and higher level. There had been engagement from over 133 people from 41 different countries.
· A programme called Welcome Boxes which helped Syrian refugee’s find homes. Once a home was found volunteers would visit families with a welcome box, give them local connections and encourage them to build friendships within the local community.
· The involvement in Mental Health support groups such as Butterflies (women) and The Shed (men) these groups had connected with 140 people over the past year.
· A current project called the Discovery programme which was a low cost project that involved asking local people what could be changed to improve and address issues in the community.
The Chair invited members of the committee to ask questions and make any comments.
Question: With regards the ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages), how were individuals told about the course?
Response: At the moment it was word of mouth but it originated through local schools and flyers.
Question: How were the Mental Help Support Groups advertised?
Response: Through third sector organisations and people would be signposted from their GP Surgeries.
Question: What were the main barriers of social integration?
Response: The lack of understanding of what culture was generally, especially with the language barrier.
Question: Were different nationalities interacting with each other?
Response: Yes, a party was arranged at the end of a term which would focus around speaking English, this allowed people of different nationalities the opportunity to practise by talking to each other in English.
Question: What ages did the ESOL group involve generally?
Response: All ages were involved but it was mainly young parents and people aged over 60.
Question: With regards to Mental Health groups, did children attend with families?
Response: No, generally children didn’t want their parents with them.
Question: Were people able to turn up to ESOL groups without booking an appointment?
Response: Yes, there was no need to book an appointment.
A suggestion was made that information relating to this programme could be published on the City Council website so that it was more widely publicised to members of the public.
RESOLVED that the verbal report be noted.
a) the verbal report be noted.
Councillor Neil Murray - Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, City of Lincoln Council
Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Councillor for Carholme Ward:
a) explained the importance of focusing the work on integrated communities on all neighbourhoods but mainly on the most deprived and diverse such as Sincil Bank.
b) highlighted that the City of Lincoln Council was keen to represent everyone which was why this particular project was a challenge.
c) stated that remodelling local areas and blocking access to rat runs being used by commuters would help integrate local communities and improve the demographic.
d) met with residents who lived on Hermit Street and the possibility of the remodelling of flats in that area was fed back extremely positively.
e) invited members comments and questions.
Question: Hermit Street mainly consisted of singletons, would the new remodelling cater for more people?
Response: Yes, it was recognised that there was an imbalance in the community.
Question: Architecturally, how could the buildings in the Sincil Bank area be improved?
Response: Blocks of flats and apartments were always being looked at with regards to making sure their design fitted in as well as traditional housing. The focus, however, needed to be on the people living there.
Andrew McNeil, Assistant Director, summarised and explained that the City of Lincoln Council was still in the early stages of the development. It was put out to residents in the areas affected to identify any issues in the Sincil Bank area and a consultation was put forward. He confirmed that the housing in the area was to a good standard however access to the area was not ideal.
RESOLVED that the verbal report be noted.
Paul Carrick - Neighbourhood Manager, City of Lincoln Council
Paul Carrick, Neighbourhood Manager:
a) explained that he had been involved with all neighbourhood teams since 2003, some of which were in the most deprived areas in the city.
b) stated that in 2016, the City of Lincoln Council could no longer fund all of the neighbourhood boards and therefore it went from 8 neighbourhood boards down to 1. Following that a place shaping strategy took place in 2017 which set key recommendations in the neighbourhoods which proved to be very challenging.
c) highlighted that the City of Lincoln Council commissioned Development Plus to work with the neighbourhood boards and received more funding to continue this work.
d) reported that in 2020 the focus was to move ambitions onto Hermit Street. £500,000 external funding was given for projects within the Sincil Bank area.
e) advised that the following jobs were created to help work with families through the local schools, door knocking and engaging with the residents, befriending and speaking to people who were isolated.
f) invited members comments and questions.
Question: Issues had been raised by residents but there seemed to be a lack of feedback to officers at City Hall, why was this?
Response: It had been recognised and there needed to be a link between the two. Unfortunately there was no facility providing this at the moment and it would need to be created.
a) A facility to provide better communication between the local community and officers be investigated.
b) More support be provided to members on the neighbourhood boards, with potential refresher training to be arranged.
c) Chairs of the neighbourhood boards be invited to a future meeting to provide their perspective as residents.
d) the verbal report be noted.